PHOTO ESSAY: Numbers Game

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The area close to the stage is where the supporters stand close to each other. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 01 April) – Aside from the surveys, the size of the crowds attending the rallies of candidates for president has become a point of contention as the campaign for the May 9, 2022 elections enters the homestretch.

Supporters of the two leading aspirants – Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – have been trading accusations of photo and video manipulation to make the crowds appear bigger than they really were.

The UniTeam of Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has posted videos and photos on social media showing a huge crowd during their rally Thursday, 31 March 2022, at the capitol grounds in Malaybalay City.

A video posted on YouTube places the number of attendees at 40,000 while an item published Friday (April 1, 2022) on, apparently a pro-Marcos website, says it’s more than 100,000.

MindaNews arrived at the venue around 1 pm and stayed until after Marcos Jr. had spoken, around 7 pm, and took photos showing the size of the crowd at various time intervals.

Based on the size of the venue (around four hectares), the varying distances between the attendees, and the unoccupied spaces, the crowd could not be more than 10,000. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)

At 3:08 pm, this is how the venue looks as photographed from the eastern side. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO
The venue at 5:22 pm, a few minutes after the arrival of Marcos Jr. A photo has been shared on social media showing Senator Rogelio de la Rosa taking a selfie with a supposedly huge throng of supporters in the background being greeted by the UniTeam’s standard bearer. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO
This is the scene around 100 meters from the stage while Marcos Jr. is speaking. One-half of the venue was jam-packed but many huge spaces remain vacant on the other half.. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO
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